The COVID-19 crisis has forced many companies and employees to rethink how they do business. The move to a remote workplace, local and state Government restrictions, and the lack of significant business travel has had a tremendous impact on the traditional franchise purchasing process. The typical process for most franchisors involved franchise candidates participating in a “Discovery Day” or “Discovery Visit”, traveling to the company headquarters and meeting with franchise executives and other team members to get a better feel for the resources and people they will have access to. The Glass Guru process was no different, having a comprehensive 2-day on-site Discovery Visit where our prospective franchisees not only spent time with franchisor team members, but also got a store tour at a nearby franchise location. The Glass Guru HQ and most franchise locations were fortunate to have remained open during the pandemic. As residential glass products, windows, and doors are all considered part of the “health and safety” of a residential dwelling, The Glass Guru has been considered an “essential business” throughout the pandemic. Additionally, the organization actually saw a dramatic increase in the number of new leads for people interested in purchasing a franchise over the past 100 days! The prevailing challenge was how to get candidates through the discovery process, and be able to ensure that all parties could adequately derive the benefits of a Discovery Visit. This challenge was universally accepted by The Glass Guru’s management team. The group quickly evaluated the most critical touch points in a traditional Discovery Visit. Next, the team began retroactively reviewing the information that had proved to be most valuable, according to candidates who had participated in traditional Discovery Visits in the past The focus quickly became how to deliver a virtual experience that could hit all the touch points, and also have the greatest opportunity to deliver on what had come to be most important to past franchise candidates and the outcome was the “Virtual Discovery Day”. The team put together a comprehensive plan to create an agenda that could be delivered in a web-meeting environment. During these web meetings it was decided that all participants at the franchisor would use webcams, and strongly encouraged the franchise candidates to also have a webcam available. The agenda includes all of the same key players at the franchisor delivering topics relating to their areas of expertise to the franchise candidate. The order and “flow” of the proven “Discovery Visit” agenda used in the past was applied to the new virtual framework as best as possible. A virtual store tour is even included, as The Glass Guru’s Founder and President Dan Frey walks candidates through the local store using streaming video.
The new virtual franchise discovery process has been far more successful than we ever imagined. Initially conceived to help us bridge the gap for Discovery Visits during the pandemic, it’s turned into a value-added part of our discovery process. By having virtual face-to-face interactions using webcams, and having all of the same players on the calls with the candidates, we’re still able to discern to a great degree, whether or not the candidate is a good fit, without the need for them to take a 4 day trip to California More importantly, candidates are seemingly getting everything they need to make an informed decision when it comes to their franchise purchase. The pandemic in some ways was a blessing in disguise, and it’s proven to me that we can provide great value to our franchise candidates by giving them a first-class discovery experience in the comfort of their own home.” Dan Frey | Founder & President – The Glass Guru Franchise Systems.
The franchise candidates that have participated in the Virtual Discovery Days with The Glass Guru have expressed mostly positive feedback. These candidates have also been able to express feedback that’s allowed The Glass Guru’s team to improve the process, ensuring the format gets better with each session. Of the several franchise candidates who participated in a Virtual Discovery Day in the past couple months, one has already signed on.
What I like most about the Virtual Discovery Day was getting to see and hear the team members that I will be working with. It helped to understand the marketing support as well as the application support that will be available as a franchisee. It worked great (the virtual aspect) under the current circumstances.” Stan Gilbreath | Owner – The Glass Guru of Johns Creek, GA
The Glass Guru has made the virtualization of their discovery process a reality, and that reality is here to stay. “I’m more than comfortable moving forward with Virtual Discovery Days. It’s more respectful of the candidate’s time, and also easier for our franchisor to manage as well”, says Frey. In-person Discovery Visits will still be available and are welcomed for candidates who would like to come to the Roseville, CA Headquarters. If you are considering a franchise opportunity with The Glass Guru, schedule your Virtual Discovery Day today!